Archive for the 1950's rock music Category

THE BIG BOPPER “Chantilly Lace” – Reflecting On Rock ‘N’ Roll’s Roots

Posted in 1950's rock music, people, Rock, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

The Big Bopper, (Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr.), was a pioneer of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Singer, songwriter, musician and an American disc jockey, The Big Bopper’s multi-tasking career was truly cut short tragically in 1959. February 3, 1959 is historically known as “The Day The Music Died”, with the untimely passing of The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, due to their being in a small plane that crashed, from presumably flying into an Iowa blizzard. The pilot, Roger Peterson, also passed away from the crash.

While growing up as a young lad, I remember this story being told to me time and again by my parents. Eventually, the multitudes of television documentaries on 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll more than adequately covered this tragically historic event. I can remember playing my mother’s Buddy Holly 45 rpm’s and thinking about that awful day in Rock ‘N’ Roll history. I took to heart, the reality of this event despite my adolescence, I imagine it was due to the way I was raised by my parents.

The one true side story to this unimaginable day in 1959, was the one as told by Country legend, (the late), Waylon Jennings himself in many well documented articles and interviews. Apparently, Waylon Jennings was supposed to fly on this very same small plane, only he gave up his seat to The Big Bopper… due to The Big Bopper having the flu. Whoa. That is one side story I could not believe, even though I have seen documented footage of Waylon Jennings telling it himself. I guess when it is “your time”… that’s it.

Waylon Jennings had a remarkably legendary career, singing and playing his guitar in the Country, Outlaw Country and Country Rock genres. I missed out on two opportunities to see Waylon Jennings live, both times he played very close to my hometown in Connecticut. One such venue was The Warner Theatre, in Torrington, Connecticut. This unreal cool and Art Deco Theatre still plays host to many incredible bands crossing all music genres, along with a diverse mix of entertainers and shows. From the late George Carlin to Foreigner… The Warner Theatre has had them all, it seems. Waylon Jennings passed away at the very young age of 64, back on February 13, 2002.

I guess missing out on seeing Waylon Jennings two times, so close to home, serves as a reminder for me to cherish each Rock ‘N’ Roll performer and Metal Band I do get to see… from Slayer to Pat Benatar. Well, getting long winded on the roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll is something I’m very good at. It’s just the pure history, the factual beginnings of the music that I and so many billions of other people love so much, that I find so difficult to ignore.

Today, I ventured out with my wife and daughters on a Sunday cruise to do some shopping. Thankfully, the weather was 100% pure Autumn and sunny, with no rain or dreary weather to get in the way of our plans. One stop was to a store called Christmas Tree Shops, it is a semi-discounted department store, that focuses on a ton of items that my wife really digs. Plus, there usually is a small display of discounted CD’s for sale there too. Today however, I did not find a CD display… whatever, I’ll live. This store is where The Big Bopper came back to life again in my ears… his song Chantilly Lace was played on the rotation of music that was heard, while we shopped. Once again, my mind wandered right back into some Rock ‘N’ Roll thoughts…

A fabulous, Classic and Rock Historical song is Chantilly Lace. Just the vocals of The Big Bopper are enough for me, while I listen to this song. Flamboyant and loaded with Rock ‘N’ Roll confidence were the vocals of The Big Bopper. Metal as my witness, his vocals alone are enough to put me in a great mood. “Oh baby you know what I like”! Just the way he describes this girl in Chantilly Lace is legendary. “A wiggle in the walk and a giggle in the talk”, “Make the world go ’round”… the lyrical rhyme scheme is Rock ‘N’ Roll perfection at it’s earliest beginnings.

Despite Chantilly Lace being a Rock ‘N’ Roll song from 1958, there is something about it that radiates a relevant cool to me. This song always has been a “1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll” favorite of mine, since the first time I heard it as a young lad. The incredible aspect about this song, is that there are no “in-your-face” guitars, drums or bass and it still Rocks like there is no tomorrow. The subdued volume of the instruments played on Chantilly Lace does help catapult the vocals of The Big Bopper and his enthusiasm for this song can’t be denied each time I hear it.

The girl is referred to as “honey” and “baby” during Chantilly Lace, making for as true a listen into Rock ‘N’ Roll’s innocence as you could ever ask for. Compare “honey” and “baby” to some of today’s female referenced adjectives you hear in popular music… and yes, Chantilly Lace is innocence. I don’t like to think of “what ifs” when it comes to life, The Big Bopper was here and he left us all with some incredible Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Chantilly Lace is a song that is immeasurable in it’s worth to Rock ‘N’ Roll History. I’ll always be a fan of The Big Bopper and be grateful for what he and his fellow peers accomplished back in those fabulous 1950’s. The Rock ‘N’ Roll seeds they all planted back then, have certainly grown into quite a remarkable existence in both music, culture and personal emotion.

* To learn more about the Warner Theatre, in Torrington, CT, click the link below:

The Warner Theatre

Rest in peace, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Roger Peterson, Waylon Jennings… and George Carlin too.

Stone.

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“SIX – STRING HEROES” – BOOK DOCUMENTS HISTORY OF GUITARISTS THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS

Posted in 1950's rock guitarists, 1950's rock music, 1960's rock guitarists, 1960's rock music, 1970'S classic rock guitarists, 1970's rock guitarists, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's rock guitarists, 1980's heavy metal guitarists, 1990's heavy metal guitarists, 1990's rock guitarists, classic rock music, collecting classic rock, current rock guitarists, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock music books, heavy metal book reviews, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, history of rock guitarists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame members, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music books, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

As I was out today, enjoying the last weekend of this holiday season with my family, I meandered into Waldenbooks at my local mall. Upon walking closer to this Waldenbooks store, several large posters hanging in this store’s windows grabbed my attention, they read: going out of business sale and up to 50% off. I was semi-shocked, this Waldenbooks store happened to be a favorite stop of mine, my wife and daughters included. Sign of the times? Perhaps. What is important to note, however, is that the Waldenbooks store chain is not going out of business… it is just this store location. (I never like to see any reputable book store go out of business, be it an independent or mass retailer). So, with a lump in my throat and a semi-bewildered look upon my face, I journeyed into this Waldenbooks store to see what deals may be lurking. Oh and what a deal I did find… a large, hardcover book that is chock full of the greatest guitarists of our time! The book I bought today, without a blink of hesitation, is:

Six – String Heroes – Photographs Of Great Guitarists

The cover price for this unreal great book is $35.00/U.S., however, with the 50% taken off at the register, it set me back $17.50… plus tax. Let me just say this, any fan or musician of Rock, Hard Rock and/or Heavy Metal will get a thrill out of the photographs that lie within Six – String Heroes. As a Metal bonus, there are literally dozens of anecdotes and personal comments, directly quoted from dozens of the most famous and influential guitarists of the modern era. These guitarists comment on themselves, their playing styles and influences. Comments and quotes, about what these same guitarists think of their peers are spread throughout this magnificent book as well. The majority of the photographs are in full color, while the vintage black & white photo’s only add to this book’s overall Rock elegance. Quite honestly, just looking at the photographs alone puts an awe struck feeling inside of me… the photography found here is that amazing. Anytime I can find a compilation book of photos, that is directly related to the history of Rock Music, I am going to dig deep into my pockets to purchase it.

In my Metal opinion, Six – String Heroes is a lifetime keeper, a book so rich with it’s historically documented, visual accounts of the most influential guitarists that ever lived. Here is a meaty sampling of the guitarists that are found inside the pages of Six – String Heroes:

Les Paul, Brian May (Queen), Peter Frampton, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Dimebag Darrell (Pantera), Brian Setzer, Waylon Jennings, Neal Schon (Journey), Eric Clapton, C. C. Deville (Poison), Tommy Shaw and James Young (Styx), Rick Derringer, Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Yngwie Malmsteen, Glenn Tipton & K. K. Downing (Judas Priest), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Steve Howe (Yes), Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow & Deep Purple), Adrian Smith & Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), Michael Schenker (Scorpions & MSG), Angus Young & Malcolm Young (AC/DC), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), George Lynch (Dokken & Lynch Mob), Paul Gilbert, Vivian Campbell (DIO & Def Leppard), Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy), Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads (Ozzy), Mick Thomson & Jim Root (Slipknot), James Hetfield & Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King (Slayer), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley (KISS), Tommy Thayer (KISS), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), B.B. King, Robin Trower, Pete Townshend (The Who), Bruce Springsteen (The Boss), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Ted Nugent, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)

There are many, many more guitarists in this book that I could mention, yet I think you get the point. When a book can have George Benson and the two leading axe men from Slayer within it’s same pages, you are talking musical diversity here. From Jazz guitarists to Thrash Metal guitarists, this book covers them.  If I have one complaint about this book, it is the sinful lacking of at least one Jimi Hendrix photograph. Then again, there are always legalities involved when publishing a book of photographs too, I do not know what may have taken place, if the author did try to include a Jimi Hendrix photo. Maybe Neil Zlozower never photographed Jimi Hendrix either? There obviously is a valid reason out there for this omission.

There are 256 pages total. This is a coffee table sized book, regardless, I will be carrying it around for quite some time. Six – String Heroes was published in 2009. The legendary Rock photographer for this book is Neil Zlozower, he has spent 40 years of his life photographing the greatest guitarists that have ever lived. I applaud Neil Zlozower’s talent that is bestowed within these pages of Six – String Heroes. The text is written by Steven Rosen with a foreword by legendary guitarist, Steve Vai.

HEAVY METAL THUNDER – 1985 BOOK IS VALUABLE HEAVY METAL HISTORY

Posted in 1950's rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, heavy metal bands, heavy metal book reviews, heavy metal chronology, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal music books, heavy metal music reference, heavy metal timeline, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music books, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Back in 1985, I was nineteen and working part time in a grocery store, spending most of my spare change on Heavy Metal albums or cassettes. I was still a teenager trying to find my college and career path back then, making minimum wage really left me with extremely limited funds. Being picky about my purchases in 1985 was out of necessity. To buy a brand new book back then, it had to be good… Heavy Metal good. I would frequent regularly, (most of the time just to browse), a mom & pop bookstore called Bookworks. This store unfortunately no longer exists, thanks to the gigantic, corporate bookstore chains that invaded every corner of the globe. Um, back to the Bookworks store… you see, I happened upon a book that caught my eye instantly sometime back in 1985, the title Heavy Metal Thunder appeared too good to be true. The front cover of the book said it all… sub headings read: The Music, It’s History, It’s Heroes. Plus, a fully adorned Heavy Metal guitarist playing a flying V guitar, on this books front cover, was more than I could possibly resist. I bought Heavy Metal Thunder willingly for $12.95. This was the full cover price back in 1985, quite a bit of cash considering my economic situation back then.

I can remember walking home with this book under my arm, the feeling of striking Heavy Metal gold was resonating through me. Knowing this was a book documenting the history of Heavy Metal up to 1985, enticed me to become the Heavy Metal scholar of my block. I read this book from front to back repeatedly, taking in the facts and timelines of the Heavy Metal history found within it’s pages. As I look back now, this book was as informative as any Heavy Metal book available back in 1985. As I leaf through the pages of Heavy Metal Thunder today, it is obvious this book was written from the perspective of being in the year 1985. Don’t let the year 1985 fool you however, this book is accurate, informative and fact filled with enough Heavy Metal history to still satisfy me in 2009. I wish there was a companion edition of Heavy Metal Thunder that was written, a book that dates from 1985 to the present. The author, Philip Bashe, compiled a timeline of Heavy Metal evolution, in commendable fashion, with this book.

There are 32 full color pages of band and individual musician photos in Heavy Metal Thunder, each photo seems to capture the essence and significance of the Old School Heavy Metal genre. Dozens of black and white photos of Heavy Meal bands and musicians adorn the pages of this great book as well. The featured bands in this book, being depicted in color photos as well, are: Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, AC/DC, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot and Motley Crue. Arguably, these were the biggest and most commercially embraced Heavy Metal bands back in 1985. KISS, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Mountain, Blue Cheer, Randy Rhoads, Twisted Sister, Lita Ford, Ronnie James Dio and Led Zeppelin do get their justified due in black and white photographs and are recognized for their importance in shaping and creating the Heavy Metal genre as we know it today. Even The Kinks, The Who and Grand Funk Railroad get their significance pointed out.

For it’s time, Philip Bashe does a top tier job at acknowledging a majority of the bands and musicians that were instrumental in the evolution of Heavy Metal, up to 1985, even if it is a short anecdote, quick mention or fact. From Elvis Presley to the The Doors to Fastway, the links and roots of Heavy Metal are touched upon in such an intriguing way by Philip Bashe, that I find Heavy Metal Thunder to still be a valuable read in 2009. The single most incredible aspect of Heavy Metal Thunder, is the Chronology, (timeline and progression of Heavy Metal Music), which is written so very well by Philip Bashe. This chronology begins on April 28, 1958, with guitarist Link Wray and his million selling instrumental single Rumble and ends on December 31, 1984, with the auto accident of Def Leppard’s drummer, Rick Allen. Believe me, the bands and their respective achievements, that are touched upon in between this timeline, is nothing short of a fascinating read.

Heavy Metal Thunder is a soft cover with 214 pages. A large size book, it measures 8.5″ x 11″ and is written with enough factual research that only adds to it’s total historical credibility. Metalheads both young and old, should find this book completely absorbing, with both it’s written and visual content. I have seen Heavy Metal Thunder for sale on Amazon.com, there were several used copies for sale, as recent as today. I saw the used copy price was for far less than the cover price I paid back in 1985. For me, it was money well spent 25 years ago… for I still own Heavy Metal Thunder to this very day.

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